Kamal Haasan to make Hollywood debut with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ producer Barrie Osborne

Osborne saw Haasan’s Vishwaroopam and was mighty impressed with his work, calling him a cinema encyclopaedia!

After earning popularity and critical acclaim in his native land, veteran Indian actor Kamal Haasan is ready to go international. He will make his Hollywood debut with The Lord of the Rings producer Barrie Osborne, who hopes to tell an Indian story in Hollywood style.

Kamal and Osborne announced their tie-up at the ongoing International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend in Singapore.

The actor-filmmaker is looking forward to working with Osborne, who he says has worked with “champions of Hollywood”. “The world has seen his work. You keep doing hard work but you are not sure if it is good work. It is only after people like Barrie approach you and make you realise (it),” said the 57-year-old. “The lineage that Barrie comes with is close to my heart. All the heroes that I have looked up to have worked with him. He has worked with champions of Hollywood like Coppola (Francis Ford Coppola),” he added. Some of Osborne’s notable works include The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Waterhorse, The Warrior’s Way and The Prophet.

Osborne hinted that the project with Haasan will be a mix of Indian and western sensibilities. “We plan to tell the story of Indian history and tradition in Hollywood style,” he said. The international filmmaker says Kamal is like a cinema encyclopaedia. “It has been a pleasure to meet Kamal (Haasan) over the years. Recently, he came to Hollywood to do some of his work on his new film Vishwaroopam. I was invited to see the film and I was impressed. After that we started talking about the idea to work together. It is such an honour to know him because his knowledge of literature and films is like that of an encyclopaedia,” Osborne said. “We started to talk about the possibility of working together and explore different avenues. Kamal presented an idea to me that I felt was compelling,” he added.

Asked about the kind of projects they are planning to work upon, Haasan says they are yet to decide upon it. “We are still developing the idea. It’s an international movie involving the world. We have just decided that we would work together. As an actor I’ll do it, as a writer I’ll do it, and if he needs me to direct it, I’ll do that also,” he said.